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How to Plan and Lay Your First Patio

by Stephen Davies on Feb 8, 2019

A patio is a perfect way to transform your typical garden into an outdoor living space. Whether you’re looking to add a dining area or want a simple place to get some sun, a patio slab is just what you need. It’s possible for anyone, no matter their experience level, to install a beautiful patio in their garden.

patio designs

Choose the Space

Before laying the slab, be sure to choose the ideal placement for your patio. The right space is up to you but consider a few things before committing to one location.

How do You Plan on Using the Patio?

If you want to enjoy cooking outside, then you may want a patio that is located close to your home. Look for a spot that doesn’t get too much wind, as this may make cooking difficult.

How Much Sun do You Want?

Different areas of your garden probably get varying degrees of sunlight. If you want to stay in the shade, choose a spot that is surrounded by plenty of trees or walls. A sunny location should be in the middle of the garden.

Pick the Slab Material

When it comes to a hard slab, there are many different options available. Be sure to select a material that brings out the natural beauty of your home. A slab of a contrasting color is always a nice way to draw attention to the patio. There are a few things to consider:

Slab Color

If you’re looking to bring more heat to your patio for use in the evening, then choose a darker-colored slab. Dark colors retain more heat. Lighter colors, however, do just the opposite. Sunlight reflects from lighter colors, resulting in a cooler slab.

Slab Style

Choose whether you prefer the appearance of a flat, concrete slab or like a more natural flagstone slab. Take the style of your home into consideration. If you live in an older house, for example, a slate slab may not match the style of your home.

Gather the Supplies

Everything you need to lay a patio slab can easily be purchased from a local home improvement store. Some of the supplies you may need include:

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Slab material, whether concrete, slate, cobbles or flagstone
  • Gravel or builder’s sand
  • Sharp spade
  • Landscape fabric

Once you have everything you need, you can start laying your new patio. Most homeowners can complete the project in a single weekend.

Laying the Patio

Laying a patio takes a lot of manual labor, but the result is worth the effort. Follow these six steps to lay a new slab in your garden.

  1. Outline the perimeter of the slab.
  2. Remove any sod or plants from the designated area.
  3. Lay landscape fabric on the prepared area.
  4. Pour a level layer of sand on top of the fabric.
  5. Place flagstones, tiles, and cobbles in the desired location.
  6. Cover with a layer of builder’s sand and brush away the excess.

Even if you have no experience with do-it-yourself projects, laying a patio, should be within your reach. With a bit of planning and plenty of hard work, your new patio will be ready for use in no time at all.

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